As the American Academy of Dermatologists indicates, it is normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair every day. Hair loss is more noticeable in people with long hair. But, if you feel that you are losing excessive hair than average, you might be suffering from a hair loss problem.
Research shows that women can lose more hair than men per day. Though there is no standard way to measure that objectively, it is believed that frequent hair styling and using different hair care products might play a role in causing more hair fall in women. Women also experience extra hair fall during pregnancy and menopause with excessive hair strands shedding off from the scalp.
The life cycle of Hair: What You Should Know About It?
We are born with about 100000 hair follicles on our scalp. Each hair strand grown by the follicle has an average life span of two to five years. Ageing, nutrition, stress, hygiene, and even our hairstyling play a role in determining the amount of hair you lose daily.
Hair life cycle consists of three phases. First comes the Anagen phase. It is the growth phase of the hair. 90% of your hair is currently in the Anagen phase. Your hair grows about 1 cm every month in this phase. If anything stops the hair from growing during this phase, the disorder is known as Anagen effluvium.
The second phase of the life cycle of hair is known as the Catagen phase. Only a small percentage of your hair (about 1-2%) is in the catagen phase at one time. In this phase, the hair strands stop growing. The Catagen phase lasts for about one to two weeks.
The final phase of the life cycle of hair is the Telogen phase. About 8-9% of our total hair remains in this phase. The hairs in this phase are often called “Club Hair”. In this phase, the hair strands come to rest and prepare themselves before shedding off from the hair follicles on the scalp. But, if more than 10% of your total hair is at the Telogen phase at a given time due to some reason, it leads to a Hair loss disorder called Telogen effluvium.
What Causes Hair Fall?
It is completely normal to lose a few strands of hair. Usually, new hair also grows from the hair follicles. But when new hair does not grow, and you notice more and more loose hair on your pillow or hairbrush, you might be having a hair fall problem. Excessive hair fall can occur due to several reasons.
One of the most common causes of excessive hair fall is stress. Hair shedding, medically known as Telogen effluvium, can occur when your body is under stress due to:
- Excessive weight loss
- After giving birth
- Going through a stressful situation
- High fever
- After a surgery
- Recovering from an illness
- Side effects of certain medication
Hair loss is a little different from hair shedding. It is medically termed as Anagen effluvium. It occurs when some external or internal force stops the hair from growing. The most common reasons for hair loss are:
- Overdrive of Immune system
- Side effects of some treatment or drugs
- Harsh hair products
- Compulsive pulling out of hair
Hair shedding or hair loss can also occur due to chronic nutritional deficiencies, thyroid conditions, and lupus.
How to Understand That You Have A Hair Fall Problem?
If you find too much hair clumping in the drain while you wash your hair, or if there is excessive loose hair on your pillow or hairbrush, you might deduce that you are having a hair problem. You can also perform a simple ‘Pull test’ to check if you have a severe hair fall problem.
- Here’s how to do it: Hold a small portion of your hair when it is dry and clean. Start from the scalp and move your hand towards the tip, slowly tugging the hair. If more than two or more hair strands remain in your hand, you might be experiencing Anagen or Telogen effluvium.
How To Boost Your Hair Growth?
1. Add some protein to your routine.
Deficiency of protein in your daily diet can aggravate hair fall. It has been found that eating adequate protein can help boost hair growth and reduce hair loss. Protein, keratin treatment or castor oil https://amzn.to/3J1ls2h can also improve hair growth.
2. Look for Caffeine
Caffeine is a relatively new ingredient in the haircare industry and can significantly boost hair growth. Research has shown that caffeine can help stimulate hair growth in men and women with alopecia.
3. Don’t Ignore the Nutrients.
Micro and macro-nutrients are essential for maintaining good hair health. Deficiency in nutrients like vitamin C, D, and E, biotin, zinc, iron, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 can cause increased hair fall. These nutrients are necessary supplements.
4. Ask for Minoxidil
Minoxidil is an active ingredient known for promoting hair growth and reducing hair fall. Minoxidil can enlarge the hair follicles and lengthen the growth phase of the hair.
5. Massage with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an age-old hair care ingredient known for promoting hair growth, reducing hair breakage, and improving overall hair health. Massaging your scalp with this oil can help improve blood circulation in your scalp and boost hair growth.
When Should You Consult Your Doctor?
If the hair loss continues and there is gradual thinning of hair on your scalp, and the hair does not grow back, you might need to talk to your doctor. You should also consult your doctor if you find bald patches on your scalp.
Platelet-rich plasma Treatment or PRP Treatment:
It is an effective treatment for alopecia. The plasma enriched with platelets is injected into the individual’s bloodstream. It helps accelerate hair growth significantly. This has been validated by a clinical study that considered 11 patients aged 20-40 years of age suffering from hair loss. The results showed that the patients experienced moderate hair regrowth after the treatment.
The Bottom Line:
Hair loss can be worsened due to numerous reasons. While some are out of our control, a few can be regulated or prevented by leading a healthy life.